Investigation of the use of smartphone applications for trip planning and travel outcomes

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, planning - surveys, technology - passenger information, ridership - mode choice


Smartphones, smartphone applications, travel outcome, trip planning, case study


This paper explores the use of smartphone applications for trip planning and travel outcomes using data derived from a survey conducted in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in 2015. The study provides empirical evidence of relationships of smartphone use for trip planning (e.g. departure time, destination, mode choice, coordinating trips and performing tasks online) and resulting travel outcomes (e.g. vehicle kilometers traveled, social gathering, new place visits, and group trips) and associated factors. Several sets of factors such as socio-economic characteristics and travel characteristics are tested and interpreted. Results suggest that smartphone applications mostly influence younger individuals’ trip planning decisions. Transit pass owners are the frequent users of smartphone applications for trip planning. Findings suggest that transit pass owners commonly use smartphone applications for deciding departure times and mode choices. The study also identifies the limited impact of smartphone application use on reducing travel outcomes, such as vehicle kilometers traveled. The highest impact is in visiting new places (a 48.8% increase). The study essentially offers an original in-depth understanding of how smartphone applications are affecting everyday travel.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Taylor&Francis, copyright remains with them.